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The Pledge
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Robin Wright Penn
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Warner Bros.
Kiddie Movie: Lots of graphic photos and adult subject matter.  Leave them with the sitter.
Date Movie: She will probably hate the ending.
Gratuitous Sex: Nah.
Gratuitous Violence: Gruesome photos.
Action: Some good suspense.
Laughs: Nah.
Memorable Scene: The ending.
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: Sean Penn
Produced By: Michael Fitzgerald, Sean Penn, Elie Samaha

The Pledge
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - R

It's 2:04 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
Iím going to come right out and say that Iím giving "The Pledge" 5 stars out of 5. If you want to know why, well, sadly I have to spoil the ending a little, although I wonít tell you exactly what happens. Donít say I didnít warn you. But why the glowing recommendation right off the bat? Well, "The Pledge" is a good drama/thriller, and not even the best, but Sean Penn and whoever else had the final say didnít take the cheap and easy way out to make the audience all warm and fuzzy as they were leaving the theater, instead someone finally had the balls to end the movie, as one man put it as he was leaving, more realistic. His wife retorted back "But I like happy endings." If you are like that wife than you, too, will hate the ending for "The Pledge."

"The Pledge" stars Jack Nicholson as Captain Jerry Black. Jerry is retiring from the force, but once a cop and always a cop, and on the last day of retirement he investigates his last case, a brutal murder of a little girl. The case seems open and shut with the arrest of a mentally challenged Indian, but Jerry doesnít think it is that simple. He asks his old superior officers to reopen the case, they feel Jerry is just trying to hold on to his old police life and donít, so Jerry begins his own investigation. Why is Jerry so hell-bent on finding the real killer? Well, Jerry made a promise to the little girlís parents that on his soul he would find the killer, he still has cop inside of him, and begins an elaborate plan of searching out the killer.

His plan is way out there, beginning with his purchase of a roadside gas station in the area he feels the killer lives so that he can keep a lookout for anyone in a black station wagon. Then, along the way, he runs into Lori (Robin Wright Penn) and her little girl Chrissy (Pauline Roberts). Is Jerry using them to trap the killer or has Jerry found a family to take care of? That question plays out even through the end as one scene leads you to believe he is using them, and then another scene you say to yourself "He canít be that much of an asshole to use these people."

The more I thought about this movie after I left the more I liked it, especially the ending, foreshadowed in the opening scene, with Jerry drunk and mumbling to himself at his gas station. Nicholson is great in his role, slipping in and out of insanity while still on his crusade. He looks tired and weathered most of the time, but when he is helping Lori and Chrissy you almost get this sense that by protecting them he has found a new purpose in life. Yet you still wonder if he is truly protecting them or using them, and Nicholson does a fantastic job at keeping you guessing.

And like I said, this is not a feel good movie. You might go away not liking the ending, but I think had they gone for the easy, feel-good ending, well, I think it would have cheapened the movie and for that Iím sticking with my 5 stars out of 5 rating. If you are sick and tired of writers and directors giving you the unrealistic, happy ending, you will love "The Pledge," but if you want that warm and fuzzy feeling, sorry, this movie wonít give it to you.

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

 

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